I felt traumatised by the birth of my first child and thankfully learned some things that made my second birth experience vastly different. I learnt to trust my body and to have greater faith in the partnership I shared with my cherub in their birth. It was largely a function of resources and quality of care that made the biggest difference - first time round the hospital was understaffed and morale was low. I was rushed and without a midwife for significant chunks of time and crucially when I was in transition. We had to keep the doctors at bay who were pushing for intervention when things slowed down and a whole host of other unpleasantness insued trying to speed things up. Being stitched up was a violence and more traumatising than giving birth itself.
Second time around I was well supported and encouraged to allow things to unfold at their own pace. I felt held and safe and had a peaceful birth with an incredibly swift recovery. To be honest, my nervous system is still healing from that first experience 7 years ago and it's so useful to hear from Emma on the differences between PND and PTSD. Please read and share, this is such a vitally important topic and there's much we can do to make birth better. If you're feeling traumatised too, please reach out to someone for help.